Abstract

We present a theoretical analysis of the properties of an unseeded optical parametic amplifier (OPA) used as the source of entangled photons for applications in quantum lithography. We first study the dependence of the excitation rate of a two-photon absorber on the intensity of the light leaving the OPA. We find that the rate depends linearly on intensity only for output beams so weak that they contain fewer than one photon per mode. We also study the use of an N-photon absorber for arbitrary N as the recording medium to be used with such a light source. We find that the contrast of the interference pattern and the sharpness of the fringe maxima tend to increase with increasing values of N, but that the density of fringes and thus the limiting resolution does not increase with N. We conclude that the output of an unseeded OPA exciting an N-photon absorber provides an attractive system in which to perform quantum lithography.

© 2007 Optical Society of America

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